The Mysterious World of Words


Words, words and words! What a fascinating world it is…

  1. Crying

A woman cries-in different circumstances, with different emotions. Is ‘crying’ sufficient to capture her tears?

She wailed, she lamented, she sniffed, she wept, she sobbed, she choked, she howled, she moaned, she hit her head….Ahhhh! Ask a translator, please!

Every word has ‘gravitas’, truly a Roman virtue and a special magic of its own. This is true of every language.

A word might be bubbling with suppressed laughter in the vernacular…literally speaking. It might bring to the mind of a natural speaker the image of a pretty woman, eyes sparkling with mischievous glee,  teasing a man she adores. Now how does one capture that beauty in a single word in another language?

So then the translator sits late into the night checking synonyms of mischief, synonyms of love, synonyms of laughter and then takes up the needle and thread to weave them all together in a sentence or a phrase …

2. Mocking

There are multiple ways in which humans mock, did you know?They snigger, they snicker, they mock and they roll their eyes, they speak roughly, they growl, they snarl, they raise eye brows….

Now when an old man burns with fury and mocks, his whole body taut like an arched bow… You paint the picture in your mind first…see some people in imagination, mix it with few life experiences here and there, add a dab of paint from a movie, an idea from a play, and then you try to capture the old man anew.

‘His nose resembled the beak of a bird of prey?’ Or talons?

3. Silence

Silence is another conundrum.

‘When faced with utter humiliation, the protagonist is silent.’

There are different types of silences in our lives, aren’t there? Forced silence, self-imposed silence, quietude,  deep silence, shallow silence, a ‘let us have a tea quietly together’ silence, ‘I know what you are thinking of’ silence, ‘You miss me, don’t you’ silence…as many silences as human beings in fact!

It is a simmering silence, the calm before the storm. And one doesn’t have the luxury of adding another sentence to describe the mood. Then what?

4. Yearning

‘Her heart thirsted for appreciation. Her hunger was for love and acceptance. Her yearning  was for understanding.’

Now this can be the starting point of every character description from Emma Bovary to Anna Karenina and Elizabeth Bennett. In fact every woman can relate to those emotions in any language.

But  one does not have the luxury of literal translation in a language where all of that can end up sounding repetitive.

5. Snowing much

P.S. Eskimo languages like Yupik and Inuit are  known to have many words to describe snow (Franz Boas, the linguistic relativity hypothesis et al..), while certain languages would have hardly one or two!

Naturally, no self respecting native speaker would agree with the translation that  ‘the lady was as pure as the driven snow’ (  because she understands different versions of  ‘snow on the ground’ which is different from ‘fallen snow’ or  ‘driven snow’!)

End Notes:

A translator has to balance her faithfulness to the text with the duty of carrying the mood through. But creating something totally new of her own is often a great risk.She has to be a good editor, ruthlessly snipping off her own words and phrases to retain just what has to be said.

But yes, there is great joy in this rather understated work. They say that a translator understands the book like a second mother. The challenge is to keep the tempestuous affection of motherhood tempered with equable detachment when creating a new life.

Truly, it is a stimulating adventure. And for someone as restless as me, it is like meditation. Yes, one can search for hours for the perfect word! Bliss!







The Code of Courage


If at this juncture of my life, someone were to ask me my greatest lesson in my life journey hitherto, it is simply this:

Do Not Be Afraid!

Fear is the greatest defeat. The terror of what/why/how/when/which/how…Rudyard Kipling’s six horsemen assume various hues and menacing postures in the mind of a human being. But the moment one decides that there is no looking back, courage comes in a great flood of blessing.

The sinews are strengthened and the mind becomes sharp as a razor. Because, there is nothing more stronger than human will power.

Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote famously in his poem Sir Galahad:

My good blade carves the casques of men,

My tough lance thrusteth sure,

My strength is as the strength of ten

Because my heart is pure…

If you have watched the children’s movie ‘Bug’s Life’ you will realize that the moment the humble ants discovered their inner strength, the terrible ‘Hopper’ lost his power over them.

 Hopper : ” Let this be a lesson to all you ants! Ideas are very dangerous things! You are mindless, soil-shoving losers, put on this Earth to serve us!”
Flik: “You’re wrong, Hopper. Ants are not meant to serve grasshoppers. I’ve seen these ants do great things, and year after year they somehow manage to pick food for themselves and you. So-so who is the weaker species? Ants don’t serve grasshoppers! It’s you who need us! We’re a lot stronger than you say we are… And you know it, don’t you?

So, where does that leave us? Every single woman, man, child, who is fighting injustice in any manner should tap into the inner fortitude first. The laws, the rules, the mechanisms of ensuring justice shall soon follow…But first, when a perpetrator  tries to bully you, simply adopt the Samurai Code… at least the two tenets of Justice and Courage.

To quote…(taken from website)
Rectitude : A well-known samurai defines it this way: ‘Rectitude is one’s power to decide upon a course of conduct in accordance with reason, without wavering; to die when to die is right, to strike when to strike is right.’

Courage : Confucius says: ‘Perceiving what is right and doing it not reveals a lack of Courage.’

So, what are you waiting for? Pick up the sword of the samurai within you! And walk with steely strength of your own courage… Be your own savior as someone wise once said.


ഞാനും എന്റെ ഹനുമാൻ സ്വാമിയും

role model

ഇന്ന് , കിഷ്കിന്ധ കാണ്ഡം അവധി ഭാഷയിൽ നിന്നും വ്യാഖ്യാനം / ഭാഷാന്തരം പൂർത്തിയായി. 2017ലാണ്  സുന്ദര കാണ്ഡം പുസ്‌തക രൂപത്തിൽ പ്രസിദ്ധീകരിച്ചത്. ഇന്നിപ്പോൾ ആദ്യത്തെ ഡ്രാഫ്റ്റ് തയ്യാറായതും ഹൃദയത്തിൽ ചാരിതാർഥ്യം.

ഹനുമാൻ എന്ന പ്രതിഭാസം , എനിക്ക് വ്യക്‌തിപരമായി , ഒരു ഹീറോ , ഒരു പ്രേരണ സ്ത്രോതസ്സ്, ഒരു ലീഡർഷിപ് മോഡൽ , ഒരു സുഹൃത്തും വഴികാട്ടിയും ഒക്കെയാണ്…യാതൊരു മുൻവിധികളും ഇല്ലാതെ സ്നേഹിക്കാൻ പറ്റുന്ന തേജസ്വിയായ ചിരഞ്ജീവി… നിഷ്കാമ കർമ്മത്തിന്റെ അത്ഭുതപ്പെടുത്തുന്ന ലാളിത്യം; മാർഗ്ഗ ദർശിയായ എന്റെ പ്രിയപ്പെട്ട ഹനുമാൻ സ്വാമി !

തുളസി ദാസിന്റെ ശ്രീ രാമചരിത മാനസത്തിൽ , ശ്രീരാമനും ഹനുമാനും തമ്മിലുള്ള പല സംഭാഷണങ്ങളും വായിക്കുമ്പോൾ ശരിക്കും കരഞ്ഞു പോകും .
സീതാ ദേവിയെ കണ്ടു മടങ്ങിയ ഹനുമാനോട് “നീ എനിക്ക് ഭരതനെ പോലെ പ്രിയമുള്ള സഹോദരൻ ! അല്ലയോ ഹനുമാനെ ! നീ എനിക്ക് ചെയ്ത ഉപകാരത്തിനു എന്താണ് തരേണ്ടത് ? നിന്നെ നേർക്ക് നേർ കാണാനുള്ള നന്മ എന്റെ ഹൃദയത്തിനില്ല !’ എന്നാണ് രാമൻ പറയുന്നത്.

ഹനുമാൻ ഇരു കൈയും കൂപ്പി നിലവിളിച്ചും കൊണ്ട് ആ നീല താമര കാൽപ്പാദങ്ങളിൽ കെട്ടി പിടിച്ചും കൊണ്ട് പറയുകയാണ്…’സ്വാമി ! എന്നെ രക്ഷിച്ചാലും ! എന്നെ രക്ഷിച്ചാലും !’

ഭഗവാൻ എടുത്തുയർത്താൻ ശ്രമിച്ചെങ്കിലും ഹനുമാൻ കാലുകളിൽ കെട്ടി പ്പിടിച്ചു കരയുകയാണ് …ശ്രീ രാമൻ തന്റെ കൈകൾ കൊണ്ട് ആ ശിരസ്സ് മെല്ലെ തഴുകുന്നു. ആ രംഗം ഉമയ്ക്ക് വർണിച്ചു കൊടുക്കുന്ന ശിവ ഭഗവാന്റെ കണ്ണുകൾ നിറയുന്നു …

പിന്നീട് രാമൻ ഹനുമാനോട് രാവണന്റെ കോട്ട  കയറിയ കഥ പറയാൻ ആവശ്യപ്പെടുന്നു. അപ്പോൾ ഹനുമാൻ പറയുകയാണ് യാതൊരു അഹങ്കാരവുമില്ലാതെ …(ബോല
ബ ച ൻ ബിഗത് അഭിമാനാ ).
“കുരങ്ങിന്റെ ജന്മമാണ് ! ഒരു മരത്തിന്റെ ശാഖയിൽ നിന്നും മറ്റൊന്നിലേക്കു ചാടുന്നത് തന്നെ പുരുഷാർത്ഥം ! ഞാൻ സമുദ്രം ചാടി കടന്നതും , സുവർണ്ണ നഗരി കത്തിച്ചതും , അസുരന്മാരെ കൊന്നതും, അശോക വനം നശിപ്പിച്ചതുമെല്ലാം അല്ലയോ ശ്രീ രാമാ നിന്റെ പ്രതാപം കാരണമാണ് ! ഇപ്പറഞ്ഞവയിൽ ഒന്നും എന്റെ യാതൊരു കഴിവുമില്ല ! പ്രഭു,താങ്കൾ ആരിൽ പ്രീതിപ്പെടുന്നുവോ  , ആ വ്യക്തിക്ക് ഒരു പ്രവൃത്തിയും കഠിനമല്ല. അസംഭവ്യമെന്നതും സംഭവ്യമാകുന്നു !’
( സാഖാ മൃഗ് കൈ ബഡി മനുസായ് /സാഖാ തേം സാഖാ പർ ജായി //
നാഖി സിന്ധു ഹട്ടകപുർ ജാറ/ നിശിചർ ഗൺ ബഥ ബിപിൻ ഉജാര //
സൊ സബ് തവ പ്രതാപ് രഘുരായി / നാഥ്‌ ന കച്ചു മോരി പ്രഭുതായി //
താ കഹ് പ്രഭു കച്ചു അഗം നഹിം ജാ പർ തുമ്ഹ അനുകൂല് /)

ഇങ്ങനെയുള്ള ഹനുമാനെ സേവിക്കാതെ ഇരിക്കുന്നത് എങ്ങനെ ? ഹനുമാൻ ചാലിസാ എന്ന നാൽപ്പതു വരികൾ ഒട്ടധികം ഉത്തരേന്ത്യക്കാരും കാണാപ്പാഠം ചൊല്ലുന്നത് കേട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്…
അതും തുളസി ദാസ് എഴുതിയതാണ് .
അവനവൻ കടമ്പ കടക്കാൻ വളരെ സഹായകമാണ് …
(ഈയിടെ രസകരമായ ഒരു വിശ്ളേഷണം വായിച്ചു:

“ആത്മ രതിയിൽ മഗ്നമായ ലോകത്തിൽ ആത്മ ബോധമില്ലെങ്കിൽ, ആത്മ വിനാശനം തീർച്ച !’ സെൽഫി ലോകത്തിൽ ആത്മരതിക്കാർ narcissus സിന്റെ പൗത്രരത്രേ !) ഭവസാഗരം കടക്കാൻ , ‘ പാവം കുരങ്ങു ജൻമം പ്രഭു !’ എന്ന് കരഞ്ഞ എന്റെ കർമ്മയോഗിയായ പ്രിയ സ്വാമി തന്നെ രക്ഷ !

Kishkinda Kanda 28…The Fourth Sopan Ends


Kahayi reechpati sunu Hanumana/ Ka chup saadhi rahehu balvana//

Pavan tanay bal pavan samana/ Buddhi bibek bigyan nidhana//

The king of bears Jambavan then spoke thus: ‘Listen, Hanuman! Why are you so silent?’

‘You are the son of the Wind God and equal to him in strength! You are the epitome of intelligence, wisdom and knowledge!’

Note: Due to a curse in his childhood (when he annoyed sages due to his great powers and naughtiness) Hanuman was supposed to be forgetful of his immense powers until he was reminded by somebody.


Kavan so kaaj kadin jag maahim/ Jo nahim hoyi taat tumh paahim//

Ram kaaj lagi tav avatara/ Sunatahim bhayavu parbatakara//

‘Is there any insurmountable task in this world,  that you cannot accomplish with ease?’

‘In fact your birth purpose is to carry out the assignment of Lord Ram!’ Hearing these words, Hanuman grew into the size of a mountain!


Kanak baran tan tej biraaja/ Manahu apar girinh kar raja//

Simhanaad kari barahim baara/ Leelahim naghavu jalanidhi khaara//

His hue was golden; his body’s radiance was mind boggling; he looked like another Sumeru-the king of mountains!

Hanuman let out a series of lion- like roars! He said, ‘Even as child’s play, I can cross this ocean easily!’


Sahit sahay Ravanahi maari/ Aanavu iham trikut upaari//

Jambavant mai poochavu tohi/Uchit sikhavanu deejahu mohi//

‘I can kill Ravan and all his followers, uproot Trikuta Mountain and bring it back here!’

‘Hey Jambavan! Tell me what I am supposed to do!’ (Please guide me!)


Etana karahu taat tumh jaayi/ Sitahi dekhi kahahu sudhi aayi//

Tab nij bhuj bal Rajeevanaina//Kautuk laagi sangh kapi sena//

(Jambavan said) ‘Hey son! Just go and see Sitaji, and return with her news.’

The lotus eyed Lord shall kill Ravan with his own hands and reclaim Janakiji. He is taking the monkey army with him as a part of his Leela.


Kapi sen sangh sanghari nisichar Ramu seetahi aanihaim/

Trailok paavan sujasu sur muni naradaadi Bakhanihaim//

Jo sunat gaavat kahat samuchat param pad nar paavai/

Raghubeer pad padhoj madhukar das tulsi gaavai//

With his monkey army, Ram shall kill the asuras and bring back Sitaji. Then all the sages like Narad and the Gods shall glorify the Lord; an act  which shall purify the three worlds. Hearing of which, singing of which, speaking of which, understanding of which, human kind shall attain the Lord’s abode. The honey bee buzzing around the lotus feet of Lord Ram, Tulsi Das sings the Lord’s praises.



Bhav bheshaj Raghunadh jasu sunahim je nar aru naari/

Tinh kar sakal manoradh siddh karahim Trisaraari//

Sri Ramji’s story is the single antidote to the disease of constant births and deaths.

Any man or woman hearing His story, shall have all their dreams fruitful by the blessings of the enemy of Khar (Lord Ram)


Nilolpal tan syam kam koti sobha adhik/

Suniya taasu gun gram jaasu naam agh khag badhik//

The divine Lord whose bluish hued body is as beautiful as a blue lotus, whose radiance is more than that of a thousand Kam Devas (The handsome God of Desire),

Whose Name is the predator of all the birds called mortal sins; one should hear about His glorious qualities.


Iti Sreemadramcharitmanase sakalkalikalushvidhwamsane chaturthah sopanah samaptah/

The Fourth Sopan of Sree Ramcharit Manas- which ends all the sins accrued in Kaliyug- ends here.



Kishkinda Kanda 27…When the Lord was in Vaman Avatar

vaman 2

Jo naghayi sat jojan sagar/ Karayi so Ram kaaj mati aagar//

Mohi biloki dharahu mann dheera/ Ram kripa kas bhayavu sareera//

The one who can cross one hundred yojanans ( four hundred kos) and is a repository of wisdom, only he can fulfill Lord Ram’s task.

Do not get upset!  Look at me and take courage! Due to Sri Ram’s blessings see how my body has regained its wings!


Papivu jaa kar naam sumirahim/ Athi apaar bhavsagar tarahim//

Taasu doot tumh taji kadarayi/ Ram hriday dhari karahu upayi//

‘Even a sinner can cross the formidable ocean of life (bhavsagar) easily on remembering His name!

And you are His messengers! Forget your trepidations; meditate on Lord Ram and think of a way!’


As kahi garud geedh jab gayavu/ Tinh kem mann athi bismay bhayavu//

Nij nij bal sab kahu bhasha/ Par jaayi kar samsay raakha//

(Kakabishundi says) : ‘Hey Garudji! When the vulture left after saying thus, the monkeys were left marveling!’

‘Each spoke of his strengths but expressed the lack of confidence in crossing the ocean.’


Jarad   bhayavu ab kahayi richesa/ Nahim tan raha pradham bal lesa//

Jabahim tribikram bhaye kharari/ Tab mai tarun rahevu bal bhari//

(The king of bears Jambavan said )  ‘I have grown too old. The initial strength is no longer left in my body.

When the enemy of Khar (Lord Vishnu in Ram avatar) was in the Vaman incarnation, I was young and very strong!’

Note:  (Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vaman, Parasu Ram, Sri Ram, Bal Ram, Krishna, Kalki:  10 avatars of Lord Vishnu)



Bali bandhat prabhu badevu so tanu barni na jaayi/

Ubhay khari mah deenhi saat pradacchin dhaayi//

(Jambavan said )‘When he vanquished King Maha Bali the Lord was gigantic in form: I cannot express in words;

Yet in two hours, I ran and completed seven pradakshinas (circumambulations) of that divine avatar!’

Note:  In his fifth incarnation, Lord Vishnu as Vaman avatar measured one step on the earth, another step on the skies; and the great King Mahabali ( literally  The Strongest of All) offered him his head for the third step.


Angad kahayi javu mai paara/ Jiyam samsay kachhu firthi baara//

Jamavant kah tumh sab layak/ Padayia kimi sabahi kar nayak//

Prince Angad said: ‘I can cross the ocean easily. But I am not confident about my return.’

Jambavan replied: ‘You are absolutely eligible in all ways. But you are the leader of the team and we cannot let you go.’

Note:  Jambavan is wise in elucidating the art of leadership: leading from the front is not a choice when it comes to undertaking dangerous missives single-handed. The leader has to stay back to strategize and plan for contingencies often.


Kishkinda Kanda 26…Jambavan became thoughtful



Ehi bidhi kadha kahahim bahu bhaanti/ Giri kandaram suni Sampati//

Baher hoyi dekhi bahu keesa/ Mohi ahaar deenh Jagdeesa//

Jambavan went on with his stories and anecdotes about the Lord. Sampati, who was residing in the mountain cavern, heard the tales.

He came out and saw the troupe of monkeys. He said: ‘The Lord has been kind to send food right to my nest!’


Aaj sabahi kah bhacchan karavu/ Din bahu chale ahaar binu maravu//

Kabahu na mil bhari udar ahaara// Aaju deenh bidhi ekahim baara//

Today I will repast on these monkeys. I have been starving for many days without food.

I could never eat to my fill. Today, God has sent me a bounty at one go!


Darpe geedh bachan suni kaana/ Ab bha maran satya hum jaana//

Kapi sab ude geedh kah dekhi/ Jamavant man soch biseshi//

Hearing the majestic old vulture’s mutterings all the monkeys became mortally afraid.  They were sure of their deaths. Jambavan (who knew about Sampati and Jatayu) became thoughtful.


Kah Angad bichaari man mahim/ Dhanya Jatayu sam kovu naahim//

Ram kaaj kaaran tanu tyaagi/ Hari pur gayavu param badbhaagi//

Angad spoke measured words: ‘Who is more blessed than Jatayu? He sacrificed his physical form for the Lord’s task and went to the Lord’s abode.’

Note: We can confidently surmise that Jambavan must have prompted Angad to speak thus.  Valorous Jatayu, Sampati’s younger brother, had fought with Ravan trying to save Sitaji. Ravan cut off his wings and Jatayu fell uttering ‘Ram, Ram!’


Suni khag harash sok jut baani/ Aava nikat kapinh bhay maani//

Tinhahi abhay kari puchesi jaayi/ Kadha sakal tinh taahi sunaayi//

Listening to the words replete with sadness and joy, the venerable bird king came near the monkeys. They got terrified.

Assuring them of no harm, Sampati enquired about his brother Jatayu’s story. Then the story of Jatayu’s martyrdom was narrated to him reverently.


Suni Sampati bandhu kai karni/ Raghupathy mahima bahubidhi barni//

Hearing about his brother’s sacrifice, Sampati rhapsodized about the greatness of Lord Ram.



Mohi lai jaahu sindhu tat devu tilanjali taahi/

Bachan sahayi karabi mai paihahu khojahu jaahi//

Sampati said: ‘Take me the ocean shore. Let me do the Tilanjali (customary rites of death) of my departed brother.’

‘And as a repayment for that help, let me help you with my words. The one you are searching for, you shall find.’

Note:  Help you with my words aka ‘I shall tell you where Janakiji is at present.’

Anuj kriya kari sagar teera/ Kahi nij kadha sunahu kapi beera//

Hum dwau bandhu pradham tarunayi/ Gagan gaye rabi nikat udayi//

After conducting the rites for his younger brother at the shore, Sampati told them his story.

‘In our arrogant youth, both Jatayu and I went flying near the sun!’


Tej na sahi sak so phiri aava/ Mai abhimaani rabi niaraava//

Jare pankh athi tej apaara/ Parevu bhoomi kari ghor chikaara//

Jatayu couldn’t stand the blazing heat and he returned. But I was vain and went near the sun.

My wings were burnt due to the intense heat. With a huge shriek I dropped all the way down to the earth.

Note: The story of Daedalus and Icarus is worth remembering here!


Muni ek naam Chandrama ohi/ Laagi daya dekhi kari mohi//

Bahu prakar tehim gyan sunaava/ Dehjanith abhinath chadaava//

There, where I fell, resided a sage named Chandrama. He felt deeply compassionate at my sight.

He gave me lessons on wisdom and freed me from my vanity and egoism.


Tretam Brahma manuj tanu dharihi/ Taasu naari nisichar pati harihi//

Taasu khoj padihi prabhu doota/ Tinhahi milem taim hob puneeta//

(He said) ‘ In the Treta Yug, Prabrahma shall take the avatar of a human being. His wife shall be kidnapped by the King of Asuras.

The Lord shall send forth his messengers in search of her. When you meet them Sampati, you shall gain divine grace.


Jamihahim pankh karasi jani chintha/ Tinhahi dekhayi dehesu taim Sita//

Muni kayi gira bhayi aaju/ Sun imam bachan karahu prabhu kaaju//

‘And your wings shall sprout anew, do not worry! You should guide them to Sitaji.

The sage’s words have come true. Now listen to me and fulfill the Lord’s task!’


Giri trikut upar bas Lanka/ Tah rah Raavan sahaj asanka//

Tah asok upban jah rahayi/ Sita baidi soch rath ahayi//

The city of Lanka is situated on the mountain Trikuta. The fearless Ravan resides there.

There, in the Asoka Upavan (garden) Sita resides. Now she sits, thoughtful and sad.



Mai dekhavu tumh naahim geedhahim drishti apaar/

Boodh bhayavu na ta kartevu kachuk sahay tumhar//

I can see her, you cannot. A vulture can see long distances.

If I hadn’t been so old, I would definitely have helped you.


25 Kishkinda Kanda…The Lord bestowed on her unflinching faith


(From the Persian Ramayan. Ref: Raza Library, Rampur, U.P.)

Doori te taahi sabanhi sairu naava/ Puchem nij britanth sunaava//

Tehim tab kaha karahu jal paana/ Khahu suras sundar bhal nana//

Everybody paid respects to her from afar by bowing low. When the woman asked them, they narrated the story of their journey.

Then she asked them to drink water and to relish the delectable, attractive fruits.


Majjanu keenh madhur bhal khaye/ Taasu nikat puni sab chali aaye//

Tehim sab aapani kadha sunayi/ Mai ab jab jahan Raghurayi//

Getting the permission, all of them took a dip in the lake, drank water and enjoyed the fruits. Then they went near her.

The woman told them her story. Then she said, ‘Now I shall depart to meet Lord Ram.’

Note: Swayamprabha was the daughter of sage Mersavarni. She resided in the magical cave which used to belong to Hema an apsara and her consort the asura architect Maya. They were also Ravan’s  wife Mandodari’s parents.


Mudahu nayan bibar taji jaahu/ Paihahu Sitahi jani pachitahu//

Nayan mudi puni dekhahim beera/ Tade sakal sindhu kem teera//

‘Close your eyes and move out of this cave. You will find Sitaji, so do not get frustrated.’

When they closed their eyes and moved out, they found that they were standing at the shores of the ocean.


So puni gayi jahan Raghunadha/ Jaayi kamal pad nayesi madha//

Nana bhaant binay tehim keenhi/ Anpaayani bhagati prabhu deenhi//

Swayamprabha went to Lord Ram. She bowed at the Lord’s lotus-feet and prayed for his blessings.

Lord Ram bestowed on her unflinching faith in Him.



Badariban kahu so gayi Prabhu aagya dhari sees/

Ur dhari Ram charan jug je bandath aj ees//

Swayamprabha proceeded to Badarik ashram (following the Lord’s guidance) carrying the image of the Lord’s divine feet in her heart.


Iham bicharahim kapi man mahim/ Beeti avadhi kaaj kachu naahim//

Sab mili kahahim paraspar baata/ Binu sudhi laye karab ka braata//

The monkey army was worried that time had elapsed but they had not fulfilled their assignment.

They discussed amongst themselves about the futility of returning without getting news of Sitaji.


 Kah Angad lochan bhari baari/ Duhu prakar bhayi mrityu hamaari//

Iham na sudhi Sita kai paayi/ Uham gaye maarihi kapiraayi//

Angad said with moistened eyes that death had come in two ways.

‘There was no news of Janakiji as yet. On return, Sugreev was sure to kill him.’


Pita badhe par maarat mohi/ Raakha Ram nihor na ohi//

Puni puni Angad kah sab paahim/ Maran bhayavu kachu samsay naahim//

‘(Sugreev) He would have killed me at the time of my father’s death. It was no favour of Sugreev’s that I am alive. Lord Ram saved my life.’

Angad was repeating to everyone that he had no more doubts about his impending death.


Angad bachan sunat kapi beera/ Bolin a sakahim nayan bah neera//

Chan ek soch magan hoyi rahe/ Puni as bachan kahat sab bhaye//

The valiant monkeys listened to Angad with tear filled eyes but did not respond.

All of them became immersed in thought for a moment. Then they all started speaking…


Hum Sita kai sudhi leenhe bina/ Nahim jaihem jubraaj prabina//

As kahi lavan sindhu tat jaayi/ Baide kapi sab darbh dasaayi//

‘Eminent prince! We shall not return without finding Sitaji.’

They proceeded to the edge of the ocean and sat down after spreading darbha grass.

Jamavant Angad dukh dekhi/ Kahim kadha upades biseshi//

Taat Ram kahu nar jani maanahu/ Nirgun Brahma ajit aj jaanahu//

Seeing the sad, dispirited Angad, Jamavan started giving sagacious advice (in the form of stories).

(He said) ‘Hey son! Do not consider Ram as a mere human being. He is the incarnation of Nirgun Brahma: unconquerable and without beginning.’


Hum sab sevak athi bad bhaagi/ Santat sagun Brahma anuraagi//

We servants are so fortunate that we can adore (Lord Ram) the one who is sagun Brahma himself.



Nij ichham prabhu avatarayi sur mahi go dwij laagi/

Sagun upasak sang tah rahahim mocch sab tyaagi//

For the sake of Devas, earth, animals and evolved beings the Lord has donned his incarnation (Not due to any karma). The devotees let go of desires for all forms of salvation and subject themselves in His service.



24 Kishkinda Kanda…A woman meditating



(Rare photoes of Balmik Ramayan translated from Sanskrit to Persian by Sumer Chand…1715 A.D.  Reference: Raza Library, Rampur, Uttar Pradesh)


Bachan sunat sab banar jah tah chale turant/

Tab Sugreev bolaye Angad Nal Hanumant//

Hearing Sugreev’s command, the monkeys dispersed to various directions to search for Sitaji.

Then Sugreev called his most important soldiers like Angad, Nal, Hanuman (Neel, Jambavan et al) to his side.


Sunahu Neel Angad Hanumana/Jambavat matidheer sujana//

Sakal subhat mili dacchin jaahu/ Sita sudhi puchehu sab kaahu//

Hey brave and valorous Neel, Angad, Hanuman, Jambavan!

All of you extraordinary warriors should move south and ask everybody about Sitaji.


Man kram bachan so jatan bicharehu/ Ramchandra kar kaaju samvarehu//

Bhanu peedi seyia ur aagi/ Swamihi sabr bhav chal tyagi//

Your minds, words and deeds shall focus on getting information about Sitaji. Ensure that the task given to us by Sri Ramji gets done successfully.

We turn out backs to the sun and we always face the fire. The task of the Lord deserves total dedication with no hypocrisy in one’s self (mind, words or deeds!)


Taji maya seyia parloka/ Mitahim sakal bhavsambhav soka//

Deh dhare kar yeh bhal bhai/ Bhajia Ram sab kam bihai//

Rejecting the desires created by Maya, one should try to serve the divine Lord. That shall erase the interminable fears associated with the birth and death cycles.

The very purpose of obtaining a mortal body is to leave aside all desires and to meditate on the Lord!


Soyi gunagya soyi badbhaagi/ Jo Raghbeer charan anuraagi//

Aayasu maagi charan siru naayi/Chale harashi sumirat Raghuraayi//

The one filled with good qualities and the one is most fortunate is that person who is Lord Ram’s devotee (who holds onto His feet)

After bowing their heads and getting the command, all of them left, reflecting on Lord Ram’s grace.


Pachem pavan tanay siru naava/ Jaani kaaj prabhu nikat bolava//

Parsa sees saroruh paani/ Karmudrika deenhi jan jaani//

Hanuman was last in the line. The Lord called him to his side.

He touched Hanuman’s head with his blessed hand. He removed the ring from his finger and gave it to Hanuman knowing him to be a great devotee.


Bahu prakar seetahi samuchayehu/ Kahi bal birah begi tumh aayehu//

Hanumat janm subhal kari maana/ Chaleyu hridayam dhari kripanidhaana//

‘Explain to Sita about my love for her (how much I miss her) and about my strength (I shall retrieve her) and return soon.

Hanumanji felt that his birth was fulfilled. Carrying the Lord of Compassion in his heart, he left the place.


Jadhapi prabhu jaanat sab baata/ Rajneeti rakhat surtraata//

Though the Lord of all Devas is omniscient, he is protecting the Rajneeti aka The Art of Ruling.

(He knows everything yet in his human avatar, he is a just king following the lawful dictates of ruling and statecraft.)



Chale sakal ban khojat sarita sar giri khoh/

Ram kaaj layleen man bisra tan kar choh//

The monkeys searched high and wide in the forests, rivers, lakes, mountains and caves.

Their minds are utterely immersed in the divine task assigned by Lord Ram. They have forgotten even their bodily attachment.( Even the thirst and hunger of their bodies do not deter them for a moment.)


Katahu hoyi nisichar saim bheta/ Pran lehim eke k chapeta//

Bahu prakar giri kanan herahim/ Kovu muni milayi taahi sab gherahim//

Wherever they encountered a rakshasa, they took his life in one blow.

They started searching the forests and mountains relentlessly. If they meet a wandering sage, they immediately surround him to enquire about Sitaji’s whereabouts.


Laagi trisha atisay akulane/ Milayi na jal ghan gahan bhulane//

Man Hanuman keenh anumana/ Maran chahat sab binu jal pana//

All were thirsty and consequently were under stress. They could not find water anywhere.

In the forests they were almost lost. Hanumanji understood that they would all die without drinking water.


Chadi giri sikhar chahu dekha/ Bhoomi bibar ek kautuk pekha//

Chakrabaak bak hans udaahim/ Bahutak khag prabisahim tehi maahim//

He leapt up the mountain peak and looked around. Then he saw a curious sight.

Many birds were entering an opening into the earth, and chakravak, swans, cranes etc were flying out through the entrance.


Giri te uteri pavansuta aava/ Sab kahu lai soyi bibar dekhava//

Aagem kai Hanumantahi leenha/ Paide bibar bilambu na keenha//

Hanuman descended and took all the monkeys to the great opening.

There without delay, he entered the cave, leading from the front.


Deekh jaayi upban bar sar bigasith bahu kanj/

Mandir ek ruchir tah baidi naari tap punj//

When they went inside, they saw a beautiful garden and lake resplendent with lotuses. There was a temple nearby and a woman deep in meditation was found seated there.




ചില പരകായ പ്രവേശങ്ങൾ


ഞാൻ പരിഭാഷപ്പെടുത്തിക്കൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്ന നോവലിന്റെ ആത്മാവ് ‘സ്വാഭിമാനമാണ്’. സമൂഹത്തിന്റെ ചോദ്യങ്ങളിലും, നിബദ്ധനകളിലും പരിമിതപ്പെട്ടു പോയ ഒരു സ്ത്രീ തന്റെ സ്വത്വം തിരിച്ചറിയുന്നതാണ് കാതൽ. പലപ്പോഴും ഒരു അതീന്ദ്രിയഃ അനുഭവം എഴുത്തിൽ വരാറുണ്ട്; പരിഭാഷയിലും.

ഏതോ ഒരു ലോകത്തിൽ നടക്കുന്ന കഥയെ വിവരിക്കുമ്പോൾ , അതിന്റെ ഭൂതം ചിലപ്പോൾ , ചില്ലറ കൈവേലകളുമായി ചുറ്റി കൂടാറുണ്ട്.
‘Serendipity’ എന്ന് വിളിക്കാം. അനീതിക്കെതിരായി ശബ്ദം ഉയർത്തിയാൽ ആക്ഷേപിക്കപ്പെടും എന്നത് കഥയിൽ നിന്നും ജീവിതത്തിൽ കടന്നു കൂടാൻ വളരെ നേരം എടുത്തില്ല.

‘ദുഷ്ടത ചെയ്യുന്നവർ അത് ചെയ്യട്ടെ…നീ മിണ്ടാതെ സഹിച്ചു കൊള്ളുക…’ എന്ന് പറയുന്ന അന്തരീക്ഷം ! അതിപ്പോൾ ജീവിതം പഠിപ്പിച്ച പാഠം -നിന്റെ നട്ടെല്ല് പണയം വയ്ക്കരുത് എന്നാണ്. വയ്ക്കാൻ ഉദ്ദേശവുമില്ല.
അപ്പോൾ പിന്നെ ആക്ഷേപമായി, പരിഹാസമായി, നിസ്സംഗതയായി, ഒഴിവാക്കലായി , പിന്നെ രക്ഷയില്ലാഞ്ഞു ബഹുമാനമായി …’യ്യോ ! അവരോടു അടിപിടി കൂടാൻ പോകല്ലേ! കഴുത്തിൽ തല കാണില്ല.’

അപ്പോൾ നോവൽ എന്നോട് മന്ത്രിച്ചു: ‘ഇതും ഒരു തരം മാസ്മരികമായ മന്ത്രജാലമാണ്‌ …നീ തന്നെ ചെയേണ്ട കർമം എന്നതിന് ഒരു spiritual whisper !’

ജെയിൻ ഓസ്റ്റിൻ എന്റെ പ്രിയപ്പെട്ട എഴുത്തുകാരിയാണ് . രണ്ടു പെൺപിള്ളേർക്കും ആരാധ്യനാണ് അവരുടെ ഫേമസ് കഥാപാത്രം; ഫിറ്റ്സ് വില്യം ഡാർസി !
മൂത്തവൾ ഒരു meme അയച്ചു തന്നു ..കഥാപാത്രങ്ങൾ …(പ്രൈഡ് ആൻഡ് പ്രെജുഡീസ് ) കോഫി കുടിക്കാൻ ഇഷ്ടപ്പെടുന്നത് എങ്ങനെ ?
എലിസബത്ത് : complex ആൻഡ് slightly nutty
ഡാർസി : ഐ പ്രെഫെർ ടീ
വികാം : hot ആൻഡ് rich
ജെയ്ൻ : Tall, blonde ആൻഡ് sweet

ഇളയവൾ സ്കൂൾ പുസ്തകാലയത്തിൽ നിന്നും കൊണ്ട് വന്ന പുസ്‌തകം.
‘മൈ കസിൻ റേച്ചൽ.’ Daphne Du Maurier എഴുതിയ ത്രില്ലർ . അത് അഭ്രപാളികളിൽ റേച്ചൽ വെയ്‌സ്‌സിന്റെ അഭിനയ തികവുമായി എത്തിയിരുന്നു .
പുസ്‌തകത്തിന്റെ മുൻകുറിപ്പു എന്നെ രസിപ്പിച്ചു.
സ്ത്രീയുടെ സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യ സങ്കൽപ്പങ്ങളെ വിഷം കൊടുക്കുന്ന സമൂഹ ശാസ്ത്രം എന്ന പഠനം, റേച്ചൽ കൊലപാതകിയോ നിഷ്കളങ്കയോ എന്ന ചോദ്യം അവശേഷിപ്പിച്ചു.

നോവലിൽ തുടങ്ങി, നോവലിൽ അവസാനിച്ചു , നോവലിൽ സ്ഥിതി ചെയുന്ന നിമിഷങ്ങൾ അമൂല്യം.., ഒരു കപ്പ് കാപ്പിയും കുടിച്ചു കൊണ്ട് നമുക്ക് പറന്നിറങ്ങാൻ ഇനിയുമെത്ര ദേശങ്ങൾ, കഥാ പാത്രങ്ങൾ !


23 (Kishkinda Kanda) Then the Lord smiled…


Lobh paas jehi gar na bandhaya/ So nar tumh samaan Raghuraya//

Yeh gun sadhan tem nahim hoyi/ Tumhari kripa paav koyi koyi//

The mortal who has not donned the noose of greed- for worldy possessions- around his neck is akin to you, Sri Ram himself!

That quality is not acquired by striving or penance. Only by your blessings can a person acquire that sort of detachment.


Tab Raghupathy bole muskurayi/ Tumh priy mohi Bharat jimi bhayi//

Ab soyi jatanu karahu man laayi/ Jehi bidhi Sita kai sudhi payi//

Then Lord Ram smiled and said: ‘Brother!  To me, you are beloved like Bharat himself!’

‘Now focus your mind to discover ways to get information about Sitaji.’



Ehi bidhi hoth bathkahi aaye banar joodh/

Nana baran sakal disi dekhia kees baroodh//

As the conversation continued, troops of monkeys of various colours could be seen arriving from different directions.


Banar katak Uma mai dekha/ So murukh jo karan chah lekha//

Aayi Ram pad navahim maadha/ Nirakhi badanu sab hohim sanadha//

(Lord Shiv says) ‘Hey Uma! I saw the monkey army assembling! Only a fool would have dared to start counting!’

‘They came and bowed at Sri Ramji’s feet one by one. On getting to catch a glimpse of the Lord- the epitome of beauty and sweet compassion- every one of them felt that Sri Ramji was theirs!’


As kapi ek na sena mahim/ Ram kusal jehi poochi nahim//

Yeh kachu nahim prabhu kahi adhikayi/ Biswaroop vyapak Raghurayi//

The Lord spoke warmly to each monkey and enquired after his welfare.

It is not anything extraordinary , since Lord Sri Ram is the incarnation of the omnipresent and omniscient divinity.

Note: We also learn the art of benevolent leadership from the Lord’s care for each member of his army!


Tade jah tah aayasu payi/ Kah Sugreev sabahi samuchayi//

Ram kaju aru mor nihora/ Banar joodh jahu chahu ora//

On hearing the orders, the monkey army froze to its position. Then Sugreev spoke thus:

‘This is the task given to us by Lord Ram and my request to you…Spread in all four directions…’


Janaksuta kahu khojahu jaayi/ Maas diwas mah aayehu bhayi//

Avadhi meti jo binu sudhi paye/ Aavai banihi so mohi maraye//

‘Go and search for Janakiji! Brothers, return in a month’s time!

If someone returns without any information, I will have no other option but to finish him off!’

Note: Ironically, the leadership style of Sugreev seems to be extensively in use  in the world of ours, metaphorically speaking!